BlueTemplar wrote:Sounds interesting!
What are your recommended game settings, especially for the star count, so as to see some DN/AM before the game ends?
I generally play SotS1 on 50% economy, 150% research, with 80 stars for 8 players. And with +20% resources in the case of Bsots, because if there's something more annoying than the freighter mini-game, that's the mini game of having to assemble a fleet from multiple planets!
I play with the +max size & resources, normal economy, normal science, 80-120 worlds typically, with 6-8 players - if I want a single starting world classic no-extra techs start.
Ships Yards are critical in BSOTS. I've made them +100% ship production speed, but cost 50K to maintain. They're not generally needed in the early game (or only one on your HW). I typically assemble fleets at my HW + in a small cluster of outer worlds, using some best one as the core, and one or two nearby to build 1/4, 1/4, and 1/2 of the fleet and send them to meet somewhere before assault.
I used to crank up the economy & science - but I've been forcing myself to keep them 100/100 so as to play-balance the tech costs and ship maintenance costs and "flow" relatively balanced at default settings (though - I do always keep the resources/size cranked - which I should probably stop doing to better balance the cpoints - but, old habits die hard).
I'm finding that most of my games have minor skirmishes until around turn 100, where you start seriously engaging other Ai players (and it's around here and maybe another 20 turns for fusion to become commonplace). Around 150-180 antimatter is researched for most players.
In my latest game I'm at turn 199, on 120 worlds, playing Humans. I got an amazing start and was at about 30 worlds before that turn 100 threshold (though many were very rudimentary colonies). Now I'm around 45 worlds, and my economy is around 9mil per turn, with a maxed out trade and trade station network with my worlds almost all in the process of growing to hw saturation levels.
So it's AM age now - my battles against my Tarkas rivals are all AM (my ships are a mix of late Fusion and new AM models - the AI I think is all AM + middle tier engine).
I'm wicked happy with some of the weapons balances - fights (at least initial ones where we both have 15-22 size [L] fleets) are quite even in most ways (Human's big advantage is smarter control of ships - using asteroid shadows, focusing fire, etc.) But the Ai's have been doing a solid job with the research techs, fleets, expansions, etc. - and this is with normal Ais.
I've found that the Ais definitely do research Advanced CNC without problems. They do not use the mismatched CNCs - they stick with the SOTS classic DE = basic CNC, CR = improved CNC, and DN = advanced CNC. But none of that causes the Ai's any problems (in my last several games). Even the Ai in last place - a Hiver this time - has Antimatter and advanced CNC in this game (which means that they managed to research one of the bonus CNC techs to get there). I expect as they move to more dreads [H] they'll research through the second bonus CNC to get Flagships as well (but I've not seen it yet).
1/2 my problem is I see too many cool ideas as I go - and I fix / build them as I go - and often destroy the game files before getting past around this point (and - with all of these turn based games the micro management often becomes too damn tedious and ruins the fun factor, so between those things - I abandon the game for even more ambitious ideas that can't remain compatible).
I've majorly toned down the early to middle tech costs compared to my earlier versions. AM is still quite expensive - e.g. my 9mil / turn Humans are looking at 8 turns for several of the end-game techs, should they go for it (without Ai techs, mind you - and I've not bothered to build any Science stations - which I've put those back to +5% bonus each - so that would make a significant difference).
I can also verify that the Ai seems to happily use the new techs. They build orbital stations regularly - their choices aren't necessarily clear as to why they chose what they did - but they're not terrible choices, and I'm very happy to see that my overhaul of the flow of when you get construction ships and etc. and overall massive overhauls to the tech tree don't break the Ai algorithms! (Kudos to Kerberos and whomever did all of that programming!!!)
Overall I'm ecstatic that everything seems to be working. I've found and fixed a pile of bugs that I didn't bother to log - just whatever was off as I encountered it playing.
Anyway - yeah, I think if I were choosing an 80 world map I'd do 6 players to give a little more room to expansion before conflict, to give each player a more solid place to build up economy - especially trade - (again, which the Ai's definitely do). The Ai's don't spam trade stations though - which is unfortunate since that's a key to a better economy - but they're not total slouches either. )
I also include a "fusion age" start tech tree now - and when I play with that I like to start all players with say 4 worlds to begin. It helps to level out the initial expansion and randomness on the map - giving everyone a solid core world group. You'll have to try that to see whether that's to your taste? Obviously the expansion phase is foreshortened, and everyone is moving at fusion speeds from the get go. AM is much sooner - and generally the late game goodies are more likely to be part of your game.
I'll publish this sucker soon. It's a solid step up from 2.1 IMO. Lots of little stuff - touches - you'll maybe enjoy as you play.
Much left to do before I finish my grand vision - with having dreads [H] revamped to have sensible firing arcs. But that's a shit-ton of work - and they'll already benefit from the above to a real degree - so hopefully this will tide folks over
The next stage hopefully will see serious love for the [H] class ships, and maybe for drones / fighters (using Balti's extensive ship yards, and borrowing from ACM's gunships, hopefully giving everyone heavy carrier class [H] ships like the Tarkas), and an enhanced tech tree that fixes some of the annoyances I've found with my current design - plus real techs for much of the weapons I've added here in 2.5 (which are now "free" with the 2 barrel varieties).
Constructive feedback is always welcome.